AUGUSTA, Ga. — If you were hoping for some sexy, potentially provocative pairings for the first two rounds of the Masters this week, grouping PGA Tour stars with the LIV Golf stars, forget about it.
The Masters on Tuesday released the threesome groupings for Thursday’s opening round and there clearly was a concerted effort to diss the players from the Saudi-backed tour.
For starters, among the four “featured groups’’ for Thursday, not a single LIV player is part of it.
The first featured group consists of Tiger Woods, Viktor Hovland and Xander Schauffele.
Then comes Justin Thomas, Jon Rahm and Cameron Young, then defending-champion Scottie Scheffler, Max Homa and Sam Bennett and finally Jordan Spieth, Tommy Fleetwood and Tony Finau.
Three-time Masters winner Phil Mickelson was essentially placed in Siberia with an afternoon tee time alongside relative unknowns Tom Hoge and Si Woo Kim.
Patrick Reed, a past champion, is playing with Adam Svensson and Sahith Theegala, not big names.
“We’ve had friendships, relationships for a long time,’’ Mickelson said of the two sides getting along at the champions dinner. “I don’t see it being an issue. I really don’t. I think it’s going to be a fun night to celebrate Scottie [Scheffler’s] win and welcome him to a club that is truly unique and special and an honor to be a part of.’’
Sergio Garcia, a past champion who’s taken verbal shots at Augusta in the past, is playing with Keith Mitchell and Kazuki Higa.
Cameron Smith, the defending British Open champion, is grouped with 2021 champion Hideki Matsuyama and Sungjae Im.
Bryson DeChambeau is playing with Francesco Molinari and J.T. Poston.
Brooks Koepka is playing with Danny Willet and Gary Woodland. Dustin Johnson, one of the biggest LIV Tour stars, is with Corey Conners and Justin Rose.
Source : NewYorkPost